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Children missing from education

A child missing from education is a child or young person of compulsory school age who is not in receipt of a suitable education.


Children missing from education (CME) fall into 2 broad categories:

  • 'CME - WASP (without a school place)' - those whose whereabouts and circumstances are known to the local authority but who have, for whatever reason, been out of education for 4 school weeks or more
  • 'CME - missing' - those who are 'lost' are children who have apparently disappeared, usually with their families, and the local authority knows neither where they are, nor anything of their circumstances

Both categories of young people are at risk of not achieving their educational potential and could be placing their safety and welfare at risk.

Children missing from education are not:

  • children who are on a school roll but are not in regular attendance - if a child is not attending their registered school or education provider, the school's attendance policy should be followed
  • children being educated at home (EHE)
  • children whose parent or carer has applied for a school place and the application is being dealt with by the admissions procedure
  • children who are on an alternative provision package
  • children who are on holiday during term time

If you're concerned about a child not receiving a suitable education then please contact us: